Boehner Opposes Farm Bill, Sides with Bush, McCain

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), siding with President Bush and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), says he'll vote against the farm bill.

In a press briefing this morning, Boehner cited higher loan limits and target prices, as well as a $200 million payment to Plum Creek Timber, as reasons he would vote against the bill.

The following is a transcript from the briefing:

QUESTION: Mr. Boehner, the conference report for the farm bill was expected to come up next week. And it's got a lot of criticism from the White House. What are your thoughts on that conference report [OFF-MIC] Republican leadership counsel its members on how to vote?

BOEHNER: I've been monitoring the progress of the farm bill talks. And this continued to get worse this week, rather than get better. And I voted against the 2002 farm bill, been a long-time member of the Ag Committee. But I don't think that this farm bill represents our best effort. And, frankly, I think we can do better. So I don't expect that I'll be voting for the farm bill. And beyond that, no decisions have been made about how to proceed.

QUESTION: What are the things you [OFF-MIC]

BOEHNER: I think, in a time of high commodity prices, to be raising loan limits and target prices just really flies in the face of reality. Secondly, when you look at some of the issues that, frankly, don't belong in there, you know, this $200 million payment to Plum Creek Timber as part of a Nature Conservancy buyout strikes me as an egregious earmark. And some of the heady provisions are causing concern. Beyond that, I don't know what other bombshells might be in this bill. We haven't seen it yet.

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